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Backgrounder: China’s PLA Navy Modernization

The Liaoning PLA NAvy aircraft carrier, cc Flickr Simon Yang, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Beijing has embarked on an ambitious naval modernization program intended to end the preponderance of US-Japan military power in East Asia.

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Backgrounder: A Brief History of China’s United Front

MaoTuong1, cc https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MaoTuong1.jpg

Xi Jinping has dusted off an old ‘magic weapon’ to wage political warfare at home and abroad. Here’s a brief history of the global influencing operation that surprisingly few have heard of.

Venezuela Migrant Exodus Taking a Toll on the Region

CC Flickr UNICEF Ecuador, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Assessing the regional impacts of the ongoing migrant exodus from Venezuela.

Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev Steps Down, But Not Out

KazakhPres, cc Flickr http://en.kremlin.ru/catalog/persons/43/events/55823/photos/50782, modified, Kremlin.ru

News of Nazarbayev’s departure may be premature. Despite letting go of the presidency, the long-time ruler will be in a position to control Kazakh politics for many years to come.

Brexit Drama Comes Down to the Wire

Brexit, cc Flickr Mark Ramsay, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With the March 29 deadline looming, Prime Minister May is desperate for a short-term extension to take her twice-defeated deal back to Parliament.

Global Forecast (03-19-2019)

GPM-placeholder-forecast

Trump meets his tropical doppelganger in Bolsonaro, a sea change unfolds in Slovak politics, and one of Central Asia’s longest-running leaders suddenly steps down.

Back to the Future: The Security Challenges of Afghan Reconstruction and Development

Former Taliban fighters hand in their guns / GHŌR, Afghanistan (May 28, 2012) – Former Taliban fighters line up to handover their Rifles to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during a reintegration ceremony at the provincial governor’s compound. The re-integrees formally announced their agreement to join the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program during the ceremony. (Department of Defense photograph by Lt. j. g. Joe Painter/RELEASED) / https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Former_Taliban_fighters_return_arms.jpg

If Afghanistan is to be stabilized and rebuilt, then all foreign and domestic forces are going to have to get on the same page.

Wilayat Khorasan: Past and Present Dynamics in the Af-Pak Region

ISISflag, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant_%E2%80%93_Khorasan_Province#/media/File:AQMI_Flag_asymmetric.svg

Tracing the rise of Islamic States Af-Pak affiliate, Wilayat Khorasan.

Ebola in DRC: Violence and Instability in a Hot Zone

cc DFID - UK Department for International Development, Flickr, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Ebola epidemic response is failing in the DRC, and local policing procedures might have something to do with it.

Germany’s Export Dip: Harbinger of an EU Recession?

GermanyFactory, cc Flcikr Oliver Liegmann, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The latest economic data out of Germany does not bode well for growth on the Continent. Are we headed for a new European downturn?

Asleep at the Controls: Boeing and the 737 MAX Debacle

737 MAX 8, cc Flickr Liam Allport, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Boeing should have acted on signs that pilots were unaware of crucial systems, and it should have acted months ago.

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